MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay
MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay

M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay, Delay/Echo/Phrase Sampler for Guitar from MXR.

glassjaw7 03/21/2011

MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay : glassjaw7's user review

« Classic, warm delay »

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MXR's M-169 Carbon Copy delivers warm analog delay in a sexy little green-sparkle box. It also has an extremely bright blue led to indicate when the effect is turned on.
Controls are simple; regen, which sets the amount of repeats, mix for how much of the delay sound is mixed into your signal, and Delay, which sets the length of the repeat.

There is also a small push button on the upper left side of the face of the pedal that engages a subtle modulation effect when pushed in. There is another bright blue led to indicate when this is turned on. What the button does, is add a modulated effect to the signal, but only to the repeats. I've heard it described as a tape echo simulation, which adds a warble effect to the repeats of the delayed signal, but the mod effect in this unit is nothing like that. It's basically just a very nice, lush chorus effect that is used very sparingly.

Also, there is an internal trim pot that allows the user to set the depth of the modulation. In my personal opinion, it is dialed in perfectly right from the factory.

IMPORTANT: If you do want to experiment with the trim pot settings, it is my strong recommendation that you mark the factory position before turning the knob. It can be difficult returning to the stock position if you desire to do so.

The unit runs on a 9 volt battery or AC power supply.


The Carbon Copy's layout is simple and effective. Unless you've never used a delay unit before, you'll have no trouble dialing in specific sounds you're after with this pedal.

An included product "manual" (which is actually a description card) gives a couple useful presets.


The delay effect in this unit is classic and warm sounding. It's a very high quality delay effect which is produced by a "bucket-brigade" circuit. In this type of circuit, the analog signal is moved along the line of several capacitors. How does this create the warm, gooey liquid tones in this pedal? I have no idea! I'm no engineer after all. I just know that the delay sounds in this pedal are heavenly!

I currently use this pedal at the end of my pedal chain in front of my Dual Rectifier. I only use it after other dirt pedals into the Clean channel of the Mesa, as delay units usually sound pretty bad before distortion sounds.
(I have used the pedal in the fx loops of other amps after the amps' distortion and the sound was wonderful. I don't use it like this with the Mesa due to the poor quality of the Mesa's parallel fx loop.)

I use this pedal for two different sounds. One is a long delay with several repeats for a singing David Gilmour lead sound. This setting makes playing leads a joy. Plug in a Fuzz Face or Big Muff and set the mix level about halfway, and the delay maxed, and it singing sustain for days! Beautiful!

The other sound I typically dial in is a shorter 1/4 note or dotted 8th note delay. This is more like what The Edge uses in U2, and is very fun and sparks a lot of creative playing. Using this setting, you can play less and the delay does a lot of the work and fills out your sound with well timed slapback delays.

The Mod effect is a beautiful and lush, yet subtle chorus effect that I find sounds great on clean tones. I prefer to use gain and play leads without it as I've never been a huge chorus fan. On clean tones however, the effect is subtle enough to add a nice spacious fullness to the tone without taking over. Perfectly dialed in by MXR at the factory, at least in my opinion. There's nothing worse than a guitarist who uses too much chorus!


Considering the quality of the tone and craftsmanship of the M-169, you get a lot of pedal for the price. Any guitarist, bassist, key player, or even vocalist seeking a high quality, warm sounding analog delay should check out the Carbon Copy. One of MXR's best offerings in years!